Having spent way, waaaaaaaay more time than I ever anticipated I would this week on wolves, I’ve gotta get serious about that little thing we call Northwest Sportsman mag — the one that pays the bills here and has a looming deadline.
But … before I turn to that, there are a couple-few wolfy bits to pass along:
WDFW’s Nate Pamplin went on KUOW for an interview that covers why, if Washington is trying to recover wolves, it had to just shoot a wolf — interesting stuff, though he clarified to Northwest Sportsman that there are still just eight confirmed and four unconfirmed, or suspected, packs in Washington rather than 12 confirmed packs which part of the interview makes it sound like.
Rich Landers at the Spokane Spokesman-Review blogs that Evergreen Staters should “get used to” this more muscular treatment of the state’s growing population of wolves. He points to a Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks weekly wolf update that reveals the Treasure State has shot more depredating wolves this year — 65 — than Washington’s known population.
As I’ve noted, federal and state managers and ranchers have killed nearly 1,700 wolves involved in depredations between 1987 and 2011 and somehow the population ended up more than recovered anyway.
Mea culpa for this 8-10-12 addition to the Howler: The Capital Press, an agland news outlet, writes that the only compensation for wolf kills that Len McIrvin of the Diamond M wants “is a dead wolf for every dead calf.” He points to wolf losses that don’t turn up in a tally of kills or injuries — lighter cows and fewer pregnancies.
A story in yesterday’s La Grande Observer and a PDF of ODFW’s investigation provide a glimpse of how ranchers, county commissioners and state biologists can reach differing conclusions about what kills stock animals, in this case a dead 400-pound calf found Aug. 5 at a water hole where the only tracks were human, cow and coyote, according to the official record though wolves other than the Imnahas have been seen in the area according to the paper.
Last Friday’s Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission meeting, available on TVW, contains two interesting items of note.
At around the 10-minute mark Commissioner Jay Kehne talks about range rider programs on Montana’s Blackfoot Challenge and Washington’s Smackout Pass, where at the latter location the rider has been getting GPS data on the whereabouts of two collared adult male wolves there.
Expect this experiment to be contrasted with goings on in The Wedge.
At around the 47:30-mark, director Phil Anderson begins talking about wolf issues, including how the agency has been in “pretty close communication” with livestock and wolf advocacy groups, including a recent meeting with ranchers in Colville. For the conservation community, he details they’re being briefed on what WDFW is doing, why and the rationale behind the actions they plan and take, outreach that he says may not have been taken in other states. Anderson also talks about development of a depredation/compensation matrix. He said it should help “take some of the ambiguity out of what people can expect of us in terms of wolf interactions with livestock.”
Landers also has a column on an upcoming wolf-hunting show that’s anything but the Bubba/Internet cowboy approach: Two hunters film themselves as they head out on Montana’s public land in search of one of North America’s smartest, most elusive and most resilient predators, learning more about their quarry and themselves over 11 days. Landers reports the two-part series will begin airing next Thursday on the Sportsman Channel.
And finally, WDFW has updated its wolf pack map to put a little blue dot around the rough location of the Nc’icns, the wolves captured on the Colville Reservation this spring.
For the record …